These Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls come together in a little over an hour, are made with easy to find ingredients and taste like HEAVEN.
*This post originally appeared in 2016, but has since been updated. It’s still the same great recipe, though!
Oy, another cinnamon roll recipe?! Guys, I didn’t realize how popular cinnamon rolls are this time of year. This was my first time making them (well, first time yes, but this recipe is a result of two failed attempts), but I’ve been seeing cinnamon roll recipes all over the blogosphere within the past week or so. Maybe it’s because cinnamon rolls are a recipe for happiness, they’re the perfect holiday brunch tagalong, they’re warm and a great excuse to enjoy comfort food first thing in the morning. Simply put, I love them more than I realized, and I don’t think the world can actually have too many cinnamon roll recipes.
Or at least I hope not, especially when they’re vegan cinnamon rolls.
I’m currently sitting in bed typing up this post with a warm (!!!) cup of coffee by my side, looking out the window and it’s nice. The only thing that would make this nicer is if there was also a fireplace in my bedroom (#goals) and if it was snowing outside. Instead, it’s raining, and the temps are supposed to drop later today so YAY! But let’s talk about this easy cinnamon roll recipe.
Cinnamon roll ingredients:
- Dry active yeast
- Brown sugar* (can also use cane sugar)
- Warm water
- Dairy free butter
- Dairy free milk
I’ve been informed that brown sugar isn’t technically vegan, so use your best judgment for that. If you feel weird about using brown sugar, cane sugar works just fine. As for the dairy free milk, any kind will work, though I tend to use almond milk simply because that’s what I generally have on hand.
How to make easy vegan cinnamon rolls
Let’s talk about these vegan cinnamon rolls ok?! So the first two times I attempted them without yeast, because I was being stubborn and I wanted to see if it’d work. What I learned is that yes, you can make cinnamon rolls without yeast, but that they won’t be as fluffy and delicious. So, these babies do have yeast in them, and they’re well worth the wait. The glaze is made with, not only powdered sugar and milk, but with maple syrup too, giving them a mild maple-y taste. UM YEAH I know you’re now craving vegan cinnamon rolls and I’m not even a little bit sorry about it.
Activate the yeast: you’ll start by mixing the active dry yeast, sugar and water together and letting the yeast activate, which takes about 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s good to go when it’s foamy on top.
Heat the milk and butter: you’ll heat them up until the butter has melted, but make sure the mixture doesn’t come anywhere close to a boil. You want the butter and milk to be warm, not hot.
Let the dough rise: once everything is combined and you’ve kneaded the dough, you’ll have to wait approximately 1 hour for the dough to rise. Ideally, you want it to double in size. Tip: If you have trouble getting the dough to rise at room temperature (I always do!), heat your oven to 200° then turn it off and place the covered cinnamon rolls in the oven and allow the dough to rise in the oven for an hour.
Rolling the dough: Tip: Don’t roll the dough out too thin. A few people have had this issue (as have I) and I’ve learned that it helps to roll the dough out to an 8″x12″ rectangle. Once the dough is rolled into a rectangle, you’ll add the filling then roll it up into a long, skinny roll. Tip: You can use floss to cut the dough, but I personally preferred to use a really sharp knife covered in flour. That way, the knife doesn’t stick to the dough. If you know how to cut cinnamon rolls with floss and prefer it that way, then just do that instead.
If you have a vegan friend or family member (or maybe even you!), these easy vegan cinnamon rolls are the perfect addition to any holiday brunch!
Other cinnamon roll recipes:
- pumpkin spice latte cinnamon rolls
- chocolate espresso cinnamon rolls
- strawberry rhubarb cinnamon rolls
Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
These Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls come together in a little over an hour, require simple ingredients and taste like HEAVEN!
- Prep Time: 1 hour 20 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
- Yield: 14 rolls 1x
- Category: breakfast
- Method: oven
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) dry active yeast
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 6 tbsp dairy free butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For the filling:
- 2 tbsp dairy free butter, melted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- For the glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp dairy free butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2–3 tbsp almond milk*
- Combine yeast and brown sugar in a bowl and then slowly pour in warm water while stirring everything together at the same time. Allow 10 minutes for the mixture to sit and the yeast to activate.
- While waiting, melt the butter and milk together over stovetop on medium heat, stirring pretty consistently until the butter has melted. Be careful–you don’t want it to be too hot or come anywhere close to a boil. Once butter has melted, set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir flour and salt together. Next, combine butter mixture with yeast mixture and stir; then, add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and use your hands to knead the dough for approximately 3 minutes.
- Line a separate large bowl with a small amount of coconut oil and then place the dough in the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour, allowing the dough to rise and double in size. Alternatively, if your dough doesn’t seem to be rising at room temperature, you can heat your oven to 200°, turn it off, and place the covered bowl (I used an oven-safe glass bowl) in the oven until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
- While waiting, you can make the filling, which doesn’t take long.
- Melt butter and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon and brown sugar and set aside. Other things you can do while waiting for the dough to rise include but are not limited to: walking your dog, catching up on emails, watching TV, sitting on Instagram–the possibilities are endless, and the time goes by faster than you’d think!
- Once the hour has gone by and your dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350°. Next, add 1/4 cup flour to your dough and stir, which will help make the dough less sticky and easier to roll. Then, flour a baking mat and place the dough on the mat. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a rectangle, approximately 9″x14″, trimming the edges if needed. You want the rectangle to be big enough but you don’t want the dough to be too thin. Otherwise, you’ll have a difficult time rolling it.
- Next, brush melted butter overtop of dough, leaving a 1″ border around the edges. Next, spoon the cinnamon sugar mixture over top of butter and spread it evenly over the dough. Last, tightly roll up the dough long-ways.
- Use a sharp knife (it helps to carefully flour the knife so it doesn’t stick to the dough) to cut dough into 1.5″ rolls, and then place the rolls into a large baking dish OR (what I did) was placed them into two greased 10″ cake pans, cut side down.
- Place a towel over the rolls and allow them to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. I originally skipped this step, but after a lot of practice, I’ve found that it really does help in making your rolls nice and fluffy! If you’re short on time, you can skip this step though.
- Once the rolls have doubled in size (or at least gotten significantly larger) brush rolls with a little more melted butter and then bake them for approximately 25 minutes.
- While they’re baking, make the glaze by combining all ingredients in a bowl and stirring with an electric mixer.
- Remove rolls from oven, wait 5 minutes or so, and then drizzle glaze overtop.
*Start with 2 tbsp milk and if glaze is too thick, add an additional 1 tbsp milk
**The serving size is an approximation–it will depend on how thick you cut the rolls
Keywords: cinnamon rolls, vegan, vegan cinnamon rolls